What could be the potential challenges in running a theme park, like Disney

Please read the following articles:

  1. Improving Guest Experience through Forecasting: How analytics enhance the guest experience at Walt Disney World” Links to an external site.  by Pete Buczkowski and Hai Chu, 2021
  2. “Forecasting And Budgeting Can Improve Your Company’s Fiscal Performance” Links to an external site.by Jeff Neilson via Forbes
  3. “Behind the magic: Inside Disney’s Distribution Services”Links to an external site.

After reading the articles, respond to one of the following questions. Then respond/comment to two posts from your classmates.

  1. What could be the potential challenges in running a theme park, like Disney, without using forecasting methods at different departments of the company such as operations, finance, marketing, etc.?
  2. Discuss the pros and cons of holding inventory in theme park gift stores. Can excess inventory be sold in future seasons or would you rather have to deal with excess inventory at the end of the season? Consider one of the following theme parks when answering the question: Six Flags, Disney World, or Universal Studios.

What could be the potential challenges in running a theme park, like Disney

Classmates replies:

Classmate 1: Running a theme park without the use of forecasting methods would be a potential disaster. First, since forecasting is used to predict park attendance, the operations department would face a significant challenge if they had no idea how many visitors to expect. They wouldn’t be able to properly order food, drinks, supplies and merchandise. They also wouldn’t know how many employees (cast members) to hire in order to safely and efficiently run the park. At Disney specifically, another challenge would be figuring out the FASTPASS system since that enables guests to skip the long lines. Forecasting can help to figure out the wait times on each individual attraction and therefore, help to keep the lines running smoothly.

Challenges for the finance department would be the unknown of the annual expected revenue without the projected numbers of visitors and the other metrics that forecasting provides. The marketing department would not have the information necessary to know their target markets and what type of strategies to employ to best fit their demographic audience. Another challenge Disney World could face which would impact all of the aforementioned departments is a COVID type shut down. However, by forecasting and budgeting, the Disney corporation is able to plan for unexpected events such as these.

Disney World is able to avoid many of these challenges due to the fact that they engage in forecasting simulations which allow them to identify problems and figure out solutions virtually, eliminating potential problems before they occur.

Classmate 2: A potential challenge that can arise in running a theme park like Disney, without using forecasting methods at different departments of the company, is decreased customer satisfaction. Businesses can utilize forecasting as a vital instrument to forecast the future and make choices regarding resource allocation, sales prices, and capacity planning. It would be challenging to adequately plan for and manage capacity without forecasting. Customers will have to wait in long lines and there’s a chance that some may not get tickets at all which can lead to low customer satisfaction and loss in revenue. That is why Disney implemented the FAST-PASS system. Buczkowski and Chu (2012) states, “Another innovative way the resort uses forecasting is for attraction wait times. The most popular attractions utilize Disney’s FASTPASS system – a unique virtual queueing system that allows guests to receive a ticket with a designated one-hour window of time when they can return and skip the regular line” (p. 14). Simply stated, Disney’s FASTPASS system is a system that allows guests to “skip long lines.” Another potential challenge that can arise in running a theme park like Disney, without using forecasting methods at different departments of the company, is unplanned inventory.  Buczkowski and Chu (2012) states, “…the distribution of individual garment sizes also changes as the cast mix evolves over time. Unlike a traditional inventory system, garments are laundered and placed back on the shelf after cast members return the garments… This dynamic environment requires sophisticated forecasting models to have enough garments to meet cast member demand while not overspending on garments that sit on a shelf” (p.14). In other words, if forecasting methods aren’t used, due to excess inventory that will be more expensive than anticipated inventory, it may result in inventory problems that cause challenges for businesses like Disney.

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For this project you will be creating a proposal for a strategic communication campaign for the Disney Organization

For this project you will be creating a proposal for a strategic communication campaign for the Disney Organization.

For this project, you will be creating a proposal for a strategic communication campaign for the Disney Organization. You should follow the strategic communications plan template from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation website as a guide for formatting the final communications plan. You can also access the PDF of the template by clicking the attachment. Your final project should meet these requirements: • Include a cover letter to pitch the proposal effectively. • Produce a professional-quality piece of work (i.e., APA formatting is not required other than for the references page; this should be a professional report). • Ground your proposal with the appropriate strategic communication, reputation, and public relations materials and concepts discussed in this class. • Incorporate both conceptual and applied research to support your assertions (a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed sources and an additional 3-5 quality professional, current events/news, or assessment resources should be included) • Ground the message with a clear theoretical approach to message design. • The entire report should be 7 pages (excluding the cover letter, executive summary, campaign samples, and references) • Incorporate effective tables or figures to present key information. • Include at least 2 samples of materials that would be disseminated as a result of your project

For this project you will be creating a proposal for a strategic communication campaign for the Disney Organization

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Walt disney company’s yen financing Essay

Walt disney company’s yen financing Essay.

Walt Disney, an American leisure and entertainment company, receives royalty payment from Tokyo Disneyland every year. The royalties were denominated in yen and were constantly growing and becoming significant for the company (8 billion Yen in 1984, with 10-20% projected growth). However, the depreciation of the yen against the dollar could incur the risk of devaluation on the royalties to be received, indicating that Walt Disney should perform hedging.

Different solutions are available. First is to (1) buy options to sell yens for dollars or to buy dollars with yen.

However this option existed only for maturities of two years or less, which is much less than the time scale of 10 years that Walt Disney was considering. Same issue also applies for the second solution, (2) the future contracts which would allow the company to exchange yen for dollar at a pre-defined rate. Also this issue would still persist if Walt Disney would like to (3) convert its existing dollar debt into yen liability since its Eurodollar note issues matured in one to four years and an attractive rate is hard to find.

Moreover this option does not provide any additional cash. The fourth option of (4) FX forward contracts from the bank which could provide long-dated FX forward rate would limit the company’s future credit capacity since the bank would consider these contracts as a part of their total exposure. (5) The Eurodollar debt has long maturity as well, but the company’s current debt ratio is already too high, and the (6) Euroyen bonds are not possible for this case due to restriction in the form of regulation from Japanese government.

There are two available options for Walt Disney, (7) creating a yen liability through loan from a Japanese bank, or (8) an ECU/yen swap proposed by Goldman Sachs. After calculating the IRR of each option, we came to the conclusion that the swap has a lower IRR; therefore Walt Disney should go for this option.

WALT DISNEY AND ITS PROBLEMS

Walt Disney was founded in 1938 as successor to the Walt and Roy Disney Company. Headquartered in Burbank, California Walt Disney had a wide range of activities including theme parks (Disneyland, Walt Disney World), motion pictures, television programs and The Disney Channel, but also some peripheral activities including developing resort and home communities, commercial and industrial properties, as well as educational material and teaching aids. The company also licensed its name to various consumer products companies.

Consolidated revenues of Disney increased by 27% in 1984, total entertainment and recreation revenues increased by 6%, while film entertainment revenues increased by 48%. In total net income grew by 5%, total assets great by 15%, but the ratio of debt to equity grew significantly as well.

In 1983, Tokyo Disneyland was opened, run by an unrelated Japanese company, paying royalties to Walt Disney Productions. By 1984 the royalties had increased significantly to JPY 8 billion. The royalties were denominated in yen and the director of finance at business, Rolf Anderson, expected these royalties to grow by another 10-20% for the coming years. However the depreciation of the yen against the dollar could incur high risks for Walt Disney, which should be hedged. In exhibit 4 of the case it can be seen how the yen/dollar rate has increased from 225.7 to 250.8 from 1980 till mid-1985. In the following sections we are providing an analysis of possible solutions for hedging the risks stemming from the fluctuation of the yen against the dollar.

POSSIBLE OPTIONS AVAILABLE WITH DISNEY TO HEDGE THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE RISK:

If we take the exchange rate of 1984 i.e. 237.30 JPY/USD (see Case, p8) the revenue of Disney (8 billion yen) was equal to approximately 33.7 million USD. This represented around 11.6% of the Disney’s total operating revenue of the year 1984. The growing revenue and the depreciating yen can hinder some of the financial plans of Disney and hence it was important for Mr. Anderson to hedge this risk of foreign exchange. Mentioned below are the different options that were available for Mr. Anderson to hedge this risk.

First solution that the company could have used is to buy/sell options. But the problem Mr. Anderson faced for this was the short-term nature of this solution. Indeed, such options existed with at best a maturity of two years, which was not good enough for the timescale he was considering (10 years horizon).

The Future Contracts option, which would permit the Walt Disney Company to exchange Yens against Dollars at a pre-defined rate (and would protect them from the on-going depreciation), is apparently the same issue: it is impossible to find contracts with maturities of more than two years.

The Walt Disney Company could have entered a foreign currency swap as they did last year by trying to convert part of their dollar debt into a yen liability. This type of hedge was short-term since Disney’s Eurodollar note issues matured in one to four years. The problem regarding such hedging was first it was very difficult to find attractive yen swap rates for such maturities (one to four years), and secondly it would not provide any additional cash to Disney, which is something Mr. Anderson was looking for.

That short-term issue could have been dealt with FX forward contracts. Unfortunately, the banks would consider these contracts as a part of their total exposure to Disney, and it would compromise Walt Disney’s capacity to have credits in the near future. Their debt indeed, has already increased drastically in the last two years and they would not like to lever it more.

Disney could have thought of Eurodollar debt issue (whose maturity is long enough), which could be swapped into yen. But because the debt ratio of company was too high it was not a viable option for Mr Anderson. Euroyen bonds were also out of question since the current Japanese Ministry of Finance guidelines didn’t allow Disney to do so (see Case, p5, §2).

The first viable option in front of Disney was to create a yen liability through a term loan from a Japanese bank at the lower Japanese long-term interest rate. This option was attractive, as the proceeds obtained from this could have been used to settle their short-term debt, improving their debt structure by decreasing the leverage. Mentioned below were the terms of the loan.

TERM LOAN IN JPY

It was a loan with a principle of JPY 15 billion, the term of the loan was 10 years with interest rate of 7.5% (annual percentage rate) paid semi-annually. It also had 0.75% front-end fees and was a bullet loan where semi-annual interest payments are done and the principle is paid at the maturity. So if we deduct the fees from the loan amount that Disney asked for they would be left with 14.8875 (15%-0.75% of 15) billion JPY. Also the interest Disney had to pay each time equalled (7.5% of 15 billion = 1.125 billion JPY annually) 0.5625 Billion JPY semi-annually. If we calculate the IRR (internal rate of return) or basically the all in cost (AIC) of the debt:

The IRR comes out to be 3.804 % (semi-annually) or (1+3.804%)2-1 = 7.753% annually.

Walt disney company’s yen financing Essay

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Disney Motivational Strategy Essay

Disney Motivational Strategy Essay.

Walt Disney is quoted as saying “of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them toward a certain goal” (Disney Dreamer, 2008, 41). It can be said that this management philosophy has contributed to eight decades of business success that has helped the company to become the business conglomerate Walt Disney is today. Co-founded by Walter Elias Disney, the Walt Disney Company today has branched out to various entertainment studios, theme parks, products and other media productions.

How did one man’s dream form and manage an enterprise that has established itself as a household name through-out the world?The Walt Disney Company was established in a small office in Los Angeles California in the summer of 1923.

Walt Disney moved to California from Kansas City Missouri with hopes of marketing his creative talent in the film industry. Walt had made a short film called “Alice in Wonderland” that he hoped to use as a pilot film to break into the industry.

Partnered with his brother Roy they formed “Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio” and changed the name to “Walt Disney Studio” per Roy’s suggestion. Walt’s first break into the entertainment business came when a distributor by the name of M.J. Winkler contracted with the studio on October 16, 1923 to release a series to the public called “Alice Comedies.” This marked the formal beginnings of the Walt Disney Company (Corporate Disney, 2008).

The company started to take off as Walt Disney hired animators to produce Oswald cartoons through his distributor, Mr. Winkler. As money grew tight Walt needed Winkler to provide him with the finances to keep producing his series. It was at this time that Walt found out the distributor was going behind his back to create his own studio using Walt Disney’s animators. Since Winkler owned the distributor rights to the Oswald cartoons there was nothing that Walt could do. It was at this point that Walt Disney vowed that he would own everything that he made (Corporate Disney, 2008). This was the event that led to the creation of the Mickey Mouse cartoons in1928 and the popularity of the Disney name.

The company grew gradually despite the financial difficulties the brothers experienced over the years. The Disney brothers did not let this hamper their efforts and soon established themselves as an independent production company in Hollywood. In the 1930’s Walt Disney was offered $300 to allow a marketer to imprint Mickey Mouse on paper tablets for children. Walt agreed as he truly needed the money. This began the production of Disney consumer products and has led them to be one of the most recognizable media brands in the world today.

The war years (1939 to 1945) were financially difficult for the company but Disney did not give up. The studio made educational films for the United States government as well as made animated comedies. After the war the company branched out by concentrating their efforts towards films using people versus cartoon characters. In the 1950s Disney tapped into the television audience with a weekly show that featured past and present Disney film characters. In 1955 Disney was inspired by his children to expand his business ventures by opening up the theme park – Disneyland in Anaheim, California. This business venture was and still is one of Disney’s biggest successes.

In the 1970s Disney had a dream to continue to offer family entertainment by developing plans to open up an entertainment and educational complex in Florida. This project became known as Walt Disney World. Unfortunately, Disney did not get to realize the accomplishment of this dream as it was completed after his death. Roy died two month’s after Walt Disney World opened in October of 1971. Despite the deaths of the two Disney brothers the company is still thriving today – not only in the United States but through-out the world. The company continues to expand their business offerings through media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, and consumer products.

The Walt Disney Company has seen much financial success as it operates as world-wide entertainment company. Headquartered in Burbank California, Disney employs over 130,000 people. Revenue is generated through the operation of the company’s four segments. These operating segments are: Media Networks (television, radio, and the internet); Studio entertainment (live-action and animated motion pictures, musical recordings and video programming); Consumer products (products and licenses to promote and sell the Disney characters and other intellectual property); and Parks and Resorts ticket sales, room nights at the hotels, and rentals at the resort properties).

Financially, the company has earning stability according to the year-end fillings with the Security Exchange Commission (SEC). Positive net income has been reported for the last five years. The Media Networks division appears to be their biggest generator of income for Disney which brings in about 41% of their revenue while the Consumer Products segment produces about 7% of their revenue. Disney’s Parks and Resorts also have been successful revenue generators for the company.

In 2007 alone operating income increase 11% from the prior year. According to Robert Iger, president and chief executive officer of Walt Disney Company, the positive financial results are a direct result of “strong brands, combined with high-quality creative content and our ability to promote and distribute the content across multiple businesses and platforms” this gives Disney “the unique ability to continue delivering growth and value to our shareholders” (Disney.com, 2007, 2). It can be said that Walt Disney’s ability to foster the spirit of creativity, innovation and excellence still continues to underlie the company’s success they enjoy today.

Disney corporations pride is in maintaining the “magic “of Disney. Their slogan is the happiest place on earth. Guests from all over the world come and enjoy the magical experience of the imagination of Walt Disney. All of this imagination has created characters and a world of fantasy that is shared in a full day at theme parks. The mission statement that the company has created is to make people happy, all of this through the entertainment values of no cynicism, nurturing, and promulgation of “wholesome American values” and the creativity of dreams and imagination. The organization structure of Disney involves the board of directors; any decision related to the organization is brainstormed through the directors before the decision is approved by the CEO Bob Iger.

Keeping in consideration that Disney Corporation has subsidiaries under them such as Disney Studios, the theme parks in California, Florida, Japan, Paris and Hong Kong; Disney also has Disney consumer products and media networks. All these Disney entities have different business proposals that require attentive decision making. This is all carefully done with the board of directors. At Disney, “the bottom line is imagination, our culture is magic and wonder, and required previous work experience: childhood dreams.” Such insightful rhetoric entices employees to put forth their best effort to live up to the self-imposed hype.

Disney’s approach to employee motivation and satisfaction is based on Frederick Herzberg’s theory that motivation comes from within the individual, rather than from a policy imposed by the company. Disney provides each of its 130,000 employees world-wide with the opportunity for recognition for achievement, increased responsibility because of performance, opportunity to grow in knowledge, chance for advancement, and improved maintenance items such as wages, off-hour programs and self-development opportunities. Disney is very aware that the only way of meeting customer’s expectations is by delivering the magic through the staff.

The culture of quality perfected at Disney’s theme parks could not prevail without employee buy-in. To gain employee acceptance, the concept of show business is promoted as an organizational culture. The employee is not hired for a job, but cast for a role in the show. Hired employees are called cast members, wear costumes not uniforms, and they play before an audience of guests, not a crowd of customers. When they are in a guest environment; they are onstage; when they are in an employee environment, he or she is backstage. Prior to any interview, Disney prescreens applicant by showing prospective employees a video prior to filling out an application. This provides an opportunity to opt out of the hiring process if they do not agree with Disney’s expectations regarding appearance, guidelines, or even having their own transportation.

After being selected for a role, cast members spend their first day at Disney University where are taught, amongst Disney traditional values, that their roles are bigger than their jobs. The cast is charged with creating magic moments for its guests. Additionally, cast members are empowered to make the right decision and provide the right behavior for each guest he or she comes into contact with. Empowerment of the Disney cast begins with a service theme of “creating happiness” for people. Disney then provides extensive training, ongoing communication, and dependable support systems to help the cast make the right decisions in each guest encounter. Cast members uphold the standards of courtesy, efficiency, safety and show, along with aligning personal values, traits and behavior with those of the organization.

Disney has 10 management principles in place that have contributed to the success of the company. These principles are: (1) Make Everyone’s Dreams Come True, (2) You Better Believe It, (3) Never a Customer, Always a Guest, (4) All for One and One for All, (5) Share the Spotlight, (6) Dare to Dare, (7) Practice, Practice, Practice, (8) Make Your Elephant Fly, (9) Capture the Magic with Storyboards, and (10) Give Details Top Billing (Capodagli and Jackson, 1999). Although all these are an integral part of the company, the first, fourth, and seventh principles are significant for employee motivation.

“Make Everyone’s Dream Come True,” outlines the importance of allowing members of the organization to dream and develop his or her creative talents (Capodagli and Jackson, 1999). Disney encourages creativity in all its employees. This encourages participation and is credited with a decreased turnover rate as compared to the industry’s competitors (Capodagli and Jackson, 1999.

The fourth principle, “All for One and One for All,” highlights the importance of teamwork and empowerment of the employees. Teamwork is described as a method of fostering intense loyalty, enthusiasm and commitment. Because the focus at the Disney Company is to make sure that each guest has a memorable and pleasant experience, it doesn’t matter whose “job” is to pick up a piece of trash. It becomes everyone’s responsibility (Capodagli and Jackson, 1999).

The seventh principle, “Practice, Practice, Practice” outlines the importance of formal and continuous training (Capodagli and Jackson, 1999). Initially, Disney’s initial training programs covered only the very basic essentials to keep operations going. During those early years, the training consisted of a first-day orientation, with some on-the-job training and a few recreational programs for employees. As Disney began to grow, more emphasis on training and the total employee environment was needed. Disney University’s challenge is to offer employees the finest working environment possible. To meet this challenge Disney training programs had to be executed in an effort to show interest and concern for the growth of the employees and the Disney organization.

The name “Disney University” extends well beyond training and education implications (Cook, 1974). More than training is included at the university. The university feels a responsibility to the whole person; the university helps employees achieve their goals as the organization achieves its goals. A very important responsibility of the Disney University is the preservation of Walt Disney’s motivational philosophies and traditions. The university staff is concerned not only with an employee’s education and development, but also with his or her motivation, morale, communication and physical working atmosphere. The university also provides social and recreational activities for the employee.

The Disney web site states: “The Company has a tradition of innovation and creativity that is the result of hiring and motivating diverse employees with a wide range of talents” (Walt Disney Company, 2008). The Walt Disney Company wants to empower its cast; to do this they start with committed leaders at the top who are willing to set examples. Disney applies the concept of cross servicing during peak hours. During these periods, supervisors and managers set aside their normal duties and help the cast in all other areas of the operation, including; food service, janitorial service, ticketing and guest assistance at all attractions. The cross-servicing concept allows cast members to see management in action and provides an extraordinary opportunity to model good behaviors and appropriate job/people skills.

Every year, The Walt Disney Company holds service awards dinners at its theme parks around the world. All the company vice presidents are in attendance, and Disney employees receive plaques, jewelry and other merchandise depending on their years of service. “When we hear of an employee doing something special, we bring it to the attention of Michael Eisner and he personally sends them a letter of thanks” (Alonzo, 1994). Every Christmas, the Walt Disney Company opens Disneyland for employees and families only with executives running the park.

Disney provides a broad spectrum of recreational, social, cultural and special activities for employees and their families. These activities include sport programs of all types, theater workshops, community services, special employee-only visits to the “Magic Kingdom,” film festivals and previews, various travel and entertainment programs, and comfortable break and eating areas for employees. Employees are also provided with housing assistance, doctor and dentist referrals, and a variety of merchants who offer discounts to Disney employees (Cook, 1974).

Employees (or Cast Members as they are commonly referred to) are afforded a wide range of benefits such as health, dental and life insurance packages. Cast members are also given complimentary theme park passports allowing them to access any of the Disney parks at no charge as well as Cast Member discounts on products and merchandise. Disney associates are also reimbursed for education, receive stock options and are eligible for service awards. Those with children who live near Anaheim or Orlando can take advantage of the childcare centers while they go to work. The many benefits motivate employees and form a good basis for employee retention.

Disney incorporates distinctive values in it workplace. Innovation, quality, community, storytelling, optimism and decency are the foreground to its success. These core values resonate in very product Disney produces ensuring the consumer receives the highest quality entertainment product available. In 2006 Disney ranked number one on the BusinessWeek’s “best places to launch a career” (Disney 2006, Business Week). Disney’s strong on-campus recruiting, solid benefits and collaborative culture helped put the entertainment giant at the head of the Business Week ranking, which identifies top employers for new college graduates.

At Disney, life is fun. People who come to enjoy Disney products are having fun and therefore, those providing these products and services should also be having fun – and be in good spirits. It helps motivate the guests to have fun. When the guests have fun they come back; when they come back the company generates revenue. Walt Disney was able to transform his imagination into a living organism that attracts people from all over the world. This business has left a legacy for many generations and is still an attraction that our upcoming generations are looking forward to exhaust and live for their children. Walt Disney was a true genius. He was able to turn fantasies and stories into a booming business that appears will be never ending.

Walt Disney recognized that “whatever we accomplish is due to the combined effort. The organization must be with you or you don’t get it done. In my organization there is respect for every individual, and we all have a keen respect for the public” (Disney Dreamer, 2008, 54) Walt Disney’s management philosophy holds true today. Disney is a model for success. The company’s proven methods for employee motivation leave little if any for improvement.

The finely evolved practice of putting associates before profits has yielded abundance in popularity and name recognition for the organization all over the world. For the foreseeable future, it does appear that Walt Disney Company will continue to expand its business and remain profitable. This can be contributed to the ability of management to foster the spirit of employee creativity, innovation, and excellence that continues to underlie all the company’s success.

References

Alonzo, V. (1994). The more the merrier. Incentive, 168(6), 47. Retrieved February 22, 2008, from MasterFILE Premier database.

Capodagli, B. and Jackson, L. (1999). The Disney Way: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company. McGraw-Hill.

Cook, M. (1974). What Can I Do For You?. Training and Development Journal, 28(9), 30. Retrieved February 22, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.

Corporate Disney. (2008, February). Disney Company History. Retrieved February 16, 2008 from http://corporate.disney.go.com/corporate/complete_history_1.htmlDisney Dreamer. (2008, February). Walt Disney quotes. Retrieved February 23, 2008 fromhttp://www.disneydreamer.com/walt/quotes.htmDisney Institute. (2008). Retrieved February 22, 2007 fromhttp://www.disneyinstitute.comHerzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B. (2007). Motivation to Work. Bloomsbury Business Library – Management Library, Retrieved February 23, 2008, from Business Source Complete database.

The Walt Disney Company. (2008). Retrieved February 22, 2008 fromhttp://corporate.disney.go.com

Disney Motivational Strategy Essay

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